Concept & Philosophy

Basis of Ayurveda Philosophy
Concept of Dosha
Concept of Dhatu
Concept of Mala
Concept of Agni
Factors affecting the doshas balance
Factors aggravates the doshas
Sign and symptoms of aggravated doshas

Basis of Ayurveda Philosophy
Ayurveda is applicable to every living thing, as implied by its name, the science of life. Vedic sciences attribute life to more things than we normally do - the things such as air, wind, fire, the earth, planets, stars, etc. are all thought to possess conscience like living beings.
The basic premise of Ayurveda is that the entire cosmos or universe is part of one singular absolute. Everything that exists in the vast external universe (macrocosm), also appears in the internal cosmos of the human body (microcosm). The human body consisting of 50-100 million cells, when healthy, is in harmony, self-perpetuating and self-correcting just as the universe is. The ancient Ayurveda text, Charaka, says, "Man is the epitome of the universe. Within man, there is as much diversity as in the world outside. Similarly, the outside world is as diverse as human beings themselves." In other words, all human beings are a living microcosm of the universe and the universe is a living macrocosm of the human beings.

Concept of Doshas
The word Dosha is derived from he root dus, which is equivalent to English prefix “dys”: dysfunction, dystrophy and so on. A Dosha is a fault, mistake, error or stain, a transgression against the cosmic rhythm.
According to Ayurveda Dosha is defined as “dusyati iti dosha” the literal meaning of this is “that which has the capacity to contaminate, to impure; to alter the nature is called Dosha. So, Doshas may be considered as a pathogenic factor or disease-causing agent in the body. On the other hand according to their basic characteristics they also known as biological humor, different energies etc. The five great element (Panchmahabhut) combine in a different proportion and form these three biological energies known as Vata, Pitta & Kapha.

Vata is a force conceptually made up of elements ether and air. The proportions of ether and air determine how active Vata is. The amount of ether (space) affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. If unrestricted, as in ocean, air can gain momentum and become forceful such as a hurricane.
Vata means "wind, to move, flow, direct the processes of, or command." Vata enables the other two doshas to be expressive. The actions of Vata are drying, cooling, light, agitating, and moving.
Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells. Vata also governs such feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors, and spasms. The primary seat or location of the Vata in the body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. It  is related to the touch sensation. If the body develops an excess of vata, it will accumulate in these areas.
Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces represent transformation. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes to occur. (For example, too much fire and too little water will result in the boiling away of the water. Too much water will result in the fire being put out.)
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of water and earth. Kapha is structure and lubrication. One can visualize the Kapha force as the stirring force to keep the water and earth from separating. For example, if we take a pot, fill it to the half with water and then add sand to it, the sand will gradually sink to the bottom of the pot. (It separates from the water). The only way to keep the sand in equilibrium with the water is by stirring the mixture continuously. The Kapha force can be visualized as this stirring force in our body.
Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance. Water is the main constituent of kapha, and this bodily water is responsible physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs, and maintains immunity. Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body such as mucus. Psychologically, kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, and long-standing envy. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness, and love. The chest is the seat of kapha.

Concept of Dhatu
Dhatu is usually translated as “body tissue,” but this definition does not address some important subtleties of meaning. Ayurveda gives a definition of dhatus that is more precise and inclusive in its meaning. The Dhatus are those substances and structures which are retained by the body and always rejuvenated or replenished. They are the natural part of the body’s composition and give it its physical strength, structural integrity and function. Substances are considered dhatus only as long as they are kept inside the body. When these “retainable” structures are expelled from the body, they are considered to be “mala” or waste matter because they are no longer support the body’s functioning or form part of its make-up.
There are seven dhatus which compose the retainable structure and substances of the body and exist in many forms: liquid, semisolid and solid: -

1

Ras

Plasma

-Nutritional fluid

2

Rakt

Blood

-Life force

3

Mamsa

Muscles

-Cover bones

4

Meda

Adipose tissue

-Lubrication

5

Asthi

Bone

-Help to stand and Walk

6

Majja

Bone Marrow

-Nerve tissue Nourishment

7

Shukra

Semen

-Reproduction

 

The dhatus are listed in the above manner because they develop in the body in a fixed, sequential manner, one from the other. Each succeeding dhatus is a metabolic refinement of the previous dhatu, and gets nourished by it.

Ras dhatu is the first dhatu to form, and is the metabolic end-product of the digestive processes that take place within the gastro-intestinal tract. The metabolic processes that work on rasa dhatu then produce Rakta dhatu. Both of these dhatus have liquid forms and circulate all over the body. In the same manner previous dhatu develop to the next.

Concept of Mala: Waste Products
The Malas are those substances which the body normally discharges in the process of creating and maintaining the dhatus. Mala includes everything which is expelled because it is neither necessary for the body’s support nor beneficial to it.

Three malas and their function

Purish (Feces) Eliminates toxins in solid form through colon
Mutra (Urine) Eliminates toxins in liquid form through kidneys
Swed (Sweat) Eliminates toxins through pores of the skin

Malas naturally arises as the unusable by-products of the digestive process associated with the formation of each of the seven dhatus, and the action of the doshas separates this waste material from the dhatus at each stage of the metabolism. If the malas do not get separated from the body at the appropriate time and in the proper quantity, their accumulation causes an imbalance that damages the functioning of the dhatus.

Agni: Your Digestive Fire
Agni in Sanskrit means fire. In Ayurveda, Agni is the digestive and metabolic "fire" produced by the doshas that grabs the essence of nourishment from food, feelings, and thoughts and transforms it into a form your body can use. Agni helps various tissues of the body produce secretions, metabolic reactions, and other processes needed to create energy and maintain and repair the body. Agni is also part of the immune system since its heat destroys harmful organisms and toxins. The activity of agni varies throughout the day and maintaining the strength and natural ebb and flow of your digestive fires is needed for good digestion, good immune function, and resistance to disease. Agni is needed to form ojas.

Factors affecting the dohas balance

Particulars

Vat

Pitt

Kaph

Environment

Cold, Dry, Breeze, Storm, Cloudy weather, Cold climate.

Heat, Dust, Smoke, Hot & Dry climate.

Rain, Cold & Humid climate.

Vasant (Spring)

----------

----------

Prakop (Aggravation)

Grishm (Summer)

Sanchay (accumulation)

----------

Shaman (Suppression)

Varsha (Rainy)

Prakop  (Aggravation)

Sanchay (accumulation)

----------

Sharad (Autum)

Shaman (Suppression)

Prakop  (Aggravation)

----------

Hemant (First half of the winter)

----------

Shaman (Suppression)

----------

Shishir (Second half of the winter)

 

 

Sanchay (accumulation)

Day time

Evening
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Afternoon
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Morning
6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Night time

Late night
2 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Mid night
10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Early night
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Relation to meals

After complete digestion of food

During digestion

Immediately after meals

Psychological factors

Fear, Sorrow, Eagerness, Anger, Worry, Study, Trouble, Excessive joy

Anger, Fear, Sorrow, Envy

Laziness, Excessive joy

Age

Old age

Middle age

Childhood

Sex

Excessive

Excessive

Less

Sleep

Less, night awakening

Less, disturbance in sleep

Excessive sleeping

Sweet

Reduce

Reduce

Aggravate

Sour

Reduce

Aggravate

Aggravate

Salty

Reduce

Aggravate

Aggravate

Bitter

Aggravate

Reduce

Reduce

Astringent

Aggravate

Reduce

Reduce

Pungent

Aggravate

Aggravate

Reduce

 


The factors which aggravates the Doshas

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Excess physical exercise

Anger

Sleep during day time

Excessive indulgence in the sex

Grief

Lack of exercise

Fighting with the stronger person

Fear

Lazy habits

Excessive study in loud voice

Exertion

Intake of sweets, sour, saline, cold, unctuous, heavy, and slimy food

Fall

Fasting

Curd

Running

Sexual intercourse

Milk

Pressure or injury to the body

Intake of pungent, sour, saline, sharp, hot, and light food

Rice

Fasting

Food that naturally increases the acids during digestion

Milk products

Floating

Seasam oil

Sugarcane juice

Swimming

Flesh

Over eating

Remaining awake at night

Fish

Excess use of meat and fat

Carrying heavy weight

Meat of goat and sheep

Taking food before the previous meal is digested

Traveling long distances on unsuitable vehicle

Curd

Sedentary life style

Intake of food and drinks which are pungent, astringent, bitter, unctuous, light, and of cold in property

Butter milk

Excess use of cold food items

Intake of dried vegetables and dried fish

Alcohalic preparations

Uses of foods and fruits having the cold properties

Irregularities in taking food

Sour fruits

Freezes items

Taking food before the previous meal is digested

Over stress

Living in the excess cold climate

Suppression of the urges e.g. flatus, stool, urine, sexual intercourse, vomiting,  sneezing etc.

Taking food before the previous meal is digested

Over stress

In the usual course-
-at the end of summer season
-in the late night
-in the afternoon
-after the digestion of food.

In the usual course-
-By heat
-During summer season
-At the end of the rainy season
-During mid-night
-At the time of digestion of the food

In the usual course-
-In winter season
-In spring season
-In the forenoon
-In the evening
-Immediately after taking food



Sign and symptoms of aggravated doshas

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

All types of pain in any parts of the body

Giddiness

Heaviness of the body

Pain aggravates during the night and reduced during the day time

Feeling of intoxication

Suppression of the power of the digestion

Rigidity and contraction of hand and legs

Dryness of mouth

Nausea and Vomiting

Spreading and radiation of the pain in any side of the body

Excess sweating

Cardiac diseases, Respiratory disorders

Bad taste in the mouth

Excessive heat in the body

Salivation

Dryness of the stool

Fainting

Laziness

Emaciation of the body

Yellow coloration of the face, nails, eyes, skin, urine, and stool

Appearance of sweet taste in the mouth

Sleeplessness during night

Delirium

Itching over the body

Roughness of the skin

Diarrhoea

Paleness in the eyes

Irregularities of the digestive fire

Anorexia

Excessive horripilate

Dryness of the dhatus

Fever

Drowsiness

Blackish coloration of the nails and skin

Excessive thirst and liking for cooling things

Tingling sensation in lips, throat, tongue, gums, pallet, nose, eyes, ears, and ear lobes.

 

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